Bringing Racing Truth to Light

Dead horses are bad for business. So, out of self-preservation – and despite calls for transparency, some from within – the industry does all it can to hide its dead, a truth further illustrated in a recent Erie Times-News article on Pennsylvania deaths. Through a right-to-know request, the paper was able to secure information on Presque Isle’s just-completed meet (5/11-9/25). It found that 13 horses lost their lives, 10 while racing. A review of our weekly casualties reveals 14 horses from that meet suffering some sort of negative outcome:

Cryptolight, May 14, vanned off
Between Dreams, Jun 7, fell, DNF
My Jordy, Jun 17, broke down
Kissnatalie, Jul 9, “stopped badly in the stretch”
Miss Stellsie, Jul 24, “fell over backwards,” DNS
Patinka, Jul 30, broke down
Kings Tuesday, Jul 30, fell, DNF
Casanova Kiddo, Jul 30, fell, DNF
Be a Pro, Aug 25, broke down
Scealeile, Aug 25, fell, DNF
Never On Time, Aug 27, vanned off
Goodforyourheart, Sep 2, vanned off
Castle Creeping, Sep 15, vanned off
Don’t Give Way, Sep 18, “stopped badly”

Of the 14, only 3 were reported as “broke down,” which, of course, is a euphemism for dead. But that still leaves 7 unknowns, probably from the above, but who knows. And that’s just the way racing wants it.

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In that same article, Penn National spokesman Fred Lipkin claims that in 2013 Penn “had 31 catastrophic racing injuries [the paper says the number is higher] out of 12,799 horses that ran on its dirt track…” There were not 12,799 horses at Penn National last year. Starts, yes, horses, no. There were probably closer to a thousand doing Penn’s bidding. Now, 31 kills out of a 1,000-horse pool tells a significantly different story. And remember, that’s just in-competition, on the dirt – training and turf deaths are not reflected. And those are only the ones reported – how many more were euthanized off-site? How many more, still, were retired to the slaughterhouse?

Racing has been allowed to deflect, distract, and deceive for virtually its entire existence (Exhibit A is calling itself a sport). But we’re here to say, no more. Not only will we continue to put names and faces to their “collateral damage,” but we will also work diligently on providing a true and accurate reckoning of their carnage.

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    • Elinor, Carolyn’s response is correct. Horseracing is a multi-billion dollar gambling industry that CANNOT exist without the betting dollars. It is not a sport, it is a business. What other sport do you know that requires gambling revenues to exist? In what other sport are the “athletes” without a voice to consent or refuse? In what other sport does the professional athlete fall from the upper echelon of his/her sport, only to suffer injury after injury, become non-competitive, but yet be made to continue competing at a lower level and for less money (not that the horse’s OWN labors bring him/her any security of earnings for a comfortable life and later, a safe retirement!)? And as pointed out here at HW many times, pit money versus an animal and the animal LOSES EVERY TIME. And yes, as difficult as these truths are to acknowledge, I actually appreciate the fact that you are horrified. What’s continually tough to understand is how anyone who claims to love and respect equines – or any animal, for that matter – can just accept the abuse and offer a hundred excuses why.

  1. Elinor, because they are a law unto themselves and don’t regard the horses as living creatures.
    And when it comes to animal cruelty they have no shame – it’s all about the easy money to be gained.

  2. Thank you, HW, for pointing out that the death stats that racing trots out every now and then are deceptive. Racing has been claiming they are going to be transparent since Eight Belles shattered both ankles after crossing the finish line in the Kentucky Derby in 2008. We are still waiting. Transparency would be to provide death stats that tell us how many individual horses raced and how many horses died. That would also include ALL training deaths since they can even exceed racing deaths. It would include each and every track no matter whether it’s an end-of-the-road bush track or a fair track since those horses are even more at risk. It would also include all horses taken in by rescues or individuals that were so badly injured that they had to be euthanized — the veterinarian performing the euthanasia could complete a form for the Jockey Club Equine Injury Data Base. And what about those racehorses we know have gone to slaughter. Aren’t they just as dead because they raced?

    • Maybe it is just as simple as it is none of your business. Any veterinary procedure should be and is confidential. Who owns the veterinary records of an animal can change state by state, but a veterinarian has a obligation of confidentiality. As would go for any business which claims to possess or own any veterinary records. Betrayal of a clients confidence is a professional, legal, and really an ethical no-no. Which also helps out the fact that they just don’t want to tell you.

      You want transparency but what is more apt to happen will be opacity. At some point I believe there will be a court ruling stopping Equibase or whomever is giving out medical information. You wish the tracks to start playing by the rules?? I believe they are breaking the rules by giving out any such information…

      • AC2…so in addition to Carolyn’s excellent points, I want to add a thought – you are actually claiming the vets/Equibase/tracks are betraying client confidentiality when reporting an equine “athlete” death from an injury incurred during participation in their “sport”? So to apply that to a different professional sport – albeit, one with consenting athletes – and let’s just use the NFL here; Adrian Peterson sustains a grievous head injury to which he succumbs…if we are to subscribe to your opinion, informing the public that Mr. Peterson died would be a violation of client confidentiality. Or if he’s lucky and merely suffers a mild concussion, the Viking’s team physician better not give a statement that he’ll be sitting the next couple of games! Confidentiality breach!

        In July of this year, the 5th Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit was attended by racing owners, trainers, veterinarians and track managers. Transparency of vet records was discussed extensively. Gary Contessa: “We’ve got to become transparent with vet records for the benefit of the horse.” Bill Casner: “The more information we have, the more transparency we have and the more accountability we have, the more we can reduce catastrophic injuries…”. Seems to me, if this was “breaking the rules”, there would have been no extensive discussion about it. The veterinarians would have immediately exclaimed “VIOLATION OF CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY!!” – end of discussion. That wasn’t the case.

      • Remember Joy in your own words “It is not a sport it is a business”. So comparing to the NFL is conflicting, or it could be argued to wit. Personally if an NFL player or in your case, their family does not want their death shared with the public they should have that option. Obviously the death of an NFL player would be major news so it would be very difficult to keep it out of the news, but having the doctor who treated said player from coming on the news and telling the extent of his injury is another thing altogether.

        A friend of mine was having a warm blood vetted for sale. The vet took an array of x-rays and determined that he could not recommend that horse for sale. The owner of the horse asked for the x-rays so her private vet could look at them. Even though she owned the animal she had to get the buyers permission to get the x-rays. There is an assumption of confidentiality between doctor and patient. It does not matter if the patient human or animal. Joy you if anyone on here should know that. If you tend to patient you can not go out to the waiting room and shout out “He had a broken leg, cocaine in his system, and self inflicted knife wounds”. Feel free to call any vet clinic and ask what medicine or procedures a certain horse has had. If you get the answers you are looking for, I personally would not consider using that vet for any animal I owned…

      • AC2…you are correct, I believe horseracing IS a business, not a sport (and those in the industry remind us that it is a business in addition to calling it a sport). When I used the comparison – horseracing and the NFL – I did so for the racing supporters who claim it’s a sport. They want to call it a sport, call the horses the athletes, give the “OK” for the horses to endure injuries and receive drugs because their human counterparts do. Yet, when the issue of reporting horse injuries and deaths is the topic of discussion, then suddenly, the same rules don’t apply? AC2, you know damn well that when a human professional athlete dies – whether that be due to an injury suffered during the game, or in a downed-plane headed to the Bahamas – the public will hear about it on the breaking news. You can’t have it both ways…claim they’re athletes competing in a sport for the entertainment of the fans and betting public, but then state their injuries and deaths should be hidden, claiming a breach of client confidentiality.

        BTW, the patient who is all coked-up visits us about every week-end…he and his friends. I don’t have to inform the waiting room, he takes care of that himself. But I bet you already knew that.

      • Joy, I hope that last comment is not insinuating I am that person.

        An athlete, pop star, movie star, or Eclipse Award winners (Cigar) are Major public figures. So yes you will here about their deaths. A double A baseball player hits a telephone pole in the outskirts of Tuscaloosa Alabama, more than likely not.
        An event horse Fairhill Md. falls after a jump, injures himself to the point he needs euthanized. Not major news, but you “might” hear about it. If he is taken home then dies of his injuries, you will hear nothing of it. Pro football player goes home and dies you will hear it. So to compare a race horse to a pro football player in that aspect is a stretch. Not to mention MOST of these equine deaths are or could be considered veterinarian procedures. Hence the confidentiality . Sports medicine doctors do not put very many pro football players down. Not as many as they should obviously if you follow the news. To me it is apples and oranges. You are grasping at best…

        Also Cary Contessa’s 1-2-3 percentage is about 45%. not sure he want FULL transparency. He may be laying it on a little thick….

      • AC2…no, not insinuating it’s you! It just cracked me up that you realized the kind of crazy-a** people who come into the ER. For whatever reason, you hit the nail on the head with that one. So how come you are so off when it comes to horseracing? Maybe someday you’ll get it….

      • Nonsense. With all due respect, you don’t know much about horseracing. All racing is conducted on private property. Vets who practice on track grounds have a legal obligation to submit treatment records and necropsy results to the stewards. Every association is empowered by state law to make various rules including those governing the release of this information. When you take out a racing license, you agree to abide by the rules. If the rules state that certain info will be published, then that’s how it’ll be. For example, New York has a rule stating that the pre-race vet treatment reports for major stakes will be released, and if you choose to run in a major stakes in NY, you agree to have your treatment logs for the three days prior to a major stakes become part of the public record. California and New York publish cause of death. ALL JURISDICTIONS publish rulings which include bad tests and overages (which is tantamount to releasing training med regimens seeing as how nobody administers a drug like clenbuterol on race day). Racing is privilege, not a right, AND ONE OF THE CONDITIONS OF HOLDING A LICENSE IS THAT YOU WILL FOLLOW THE RULES. If you’re on association grounds, you give up the right to privacy. Track or commission investigators can search your tack room, can search your vehicle, can search your person and order you (or your horse) to provide a urine sample right then and there. Furthermore Equibase doesn’t give out “medical information”. Racing operates under administrative law; the civil and criminal laws which govern vet confidentiality off of association grounds do not apply. So, once again… nonsense.

    • Exactly. And then there’s the group who die of “colic” or “colititis” (determinations made without autopsy) brought on by excessive use of NSAIDS whose names don’t show up anywhere besides open records requests and in the stewards minutes. Add to the list those who go wrong after the wire and aren’t reported as such on Equibase. Equibase race charts are HORRIBLY inaccurate when it comes to reporting breakdowns and injuries.

  3. AC2 “any veterinary procedure should be and is confidential” this is a policy for domestic animals generally speaking. Horseracing is a very public industry and there lies the difference. The racing industry is obligated to be transparent and disclose information to the public. Here, the client is a racehorse owner, however, that owner is accountable to the industry for the racehorse’s veterinarian history, records and treatments as well as any surgical procedures. The public invest/gamble on these animals and sustain the industry which in turn is accountable to the public. On raceday these racehorses are put on public display and the people take an interest in these animals whose health is open to scrutiny.

  4. Veterinarian and their associates should protect the personal privacy of their patients and clients.Veterinarians should not reveal confidences unless required by law or unless it becomes necessary to protect the health of other individuals or animals…American Veterinary Medical Association

  5. Our world famous Melbourne Cup is to be held in a few weeks and colleagues in
    Melbourne have put up a billboard on a busy main road into the city with a photo of
    a dead racehorse and the words “Is The Party Really Worth It?”

    In case you might be interested here’s the link

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/animal-welfare-activists-under-fire-over-huge-antihorse-racing-billboard-on-citylink/story-fni0fit3-1227081852419?nk=030161e92ccb55ca5355d64ffa55b9c0#social-comments

    • Just to let you know that the billboard has been taken down. The racing industry went into a frenzy and there was a great deal of publicity in the media as well as the social media. The advertising company supported the billboard but the owner of the billboard site said he did not approve of it and it must come down.
      In the meantime this week two lovely young female jockeys have died in a few days of one another, one in northern Queensland and the other in South Australia. One of the horses broke its two front legs and she came off and then horse landed on top of her. Such a terrible tragic waste of life for these young women and the horses. If the jockeys knew what was really going on with these horses, i doubt they’d hop into the saddle. Yes, the racing industry sure has blood on its hands for the horses it abuses, injures and kills but i believe it also has blood on its hands for the deaths of these jockeys. This has happened when our Melbourne Cup is fast approaching and the racing authorities appear to be having difficulty “explaining”.
      Recently there was a documentary on national tv which investigated the not so recent death of one female jockey (a mother) and the horrific fall of a jockey a young woman (married with children) which left her a paraplegic in a wheelchair. I really cannot find the words to describe how terrible and cruel it is. Defenceless horses and jockeys (who have a choice) DYING for a so called “sport” that relies on the gambling dollar.

      • Carolyn. about 3 years ago (2011), a group of us put up two billboards close to Mountaineer in West Virginia. The billboards asked Mountaineer to enforce their “no horse to slaughter policy” after the death of Deputy Broad. The boards lasted a week. Mountaineer sent their team of lawyers after Lamar, the billboard company that put up the boards and, due to pressure, Lamar took the two boards down. Lamar didn’t have an issue with the boards, but Mountaineer was their biggest advertiser in the area and, of course, in the business world, it really is all about the money. You cater to the biggest customer.

        The racing industry went into a frenzy in this case, too. Some of the racing folks supported the boards but many were outraged that we were demanding that Mountaineer stop the slaughtering of its horses. I guess it made the scum bags look bad! We simply couldn’t fight the gambling industry. Remember, I have said many times that racing is sinister and corrupt. One gal, whose family races at Mountaineer, told me that I should be “patient” with the industry as it tries to work on the slaughter issue. I asked her, on three different occasions, how long I should be patient…five years, ten years, or 20 years. She never responded because she had no answer. She and her family make their money in an industry that has little regard for the horses that put bread and butter on their table. I do think she cares about all the horses, but her livelihood depends on not rocking the boat, so to speak. By the way, my contacts have told me that Mountaineer had a shedrow for horses at their track that were heading to slaughter. There was also a legitimate training center across the street from Mountaineer that was used, on occasion, as a holding facility for slaughter bound horses.

        I would like to see a billboard close to every track in this country, but it won’t happen because the tracks are too powerful. Many are owned by gaming companies who have extremely deep pockets. It really is a David/Goliath scenario. Sad, but true…

  6. Joy, couldn’t agree with you more, it would be wonderful to place one next to every racetrack. Exposing the dark side of racing to the general public is now necessary in my view especially when consultation with the racing authorites and the government, which supports the racing industry here, has failed despite years of diplomatic efforts and providing scientific, factual and indisputable evidence. I feel that the time has come to go for the jugular. I have years of a paper trail which substantiates my stance. So many people are unaware and even some people in the industry don’t know what’s going on with these animals!

  7. Patrick, I didn’t know where to leave this info, so here it is. This is the list of dead from Charles Town, 2013. I’ve researched all of them (as you can see). Notice how several trainers have more than one fatality and at least one had three dead in 2013. Do with this what you will:

    09/04/2013 Trainer Vernon Greaves. Horse, 5YO gelding Hombre (7 starts 3-0-1, earnings $50,040) suffered a slab fracture to the right knee after crossing the wire 10th out of 10 in a $4.5K CLM… chart simply says “pulled up lame after the wire and was vanned off.” The only thing that’s “lame” is the race chart: this gelding was EUTHANIZED. *The gelding’s previous out before his death, he ran 3rd out of eight in an $8K CLM on 06/01/2013. Prior to the 3rd place finish in June, THIS GELDING HAD NOT RACED SINCE FINISHING 5TH IN A $28K ALW ON 10/26/2011—DID NOT START IN 2011—THE GELDING’S SECOND START OF AN 18-MONTH LAYUP, AND HE LAY DEAD ON THE BACKSIDE… Charles Town.

    08/22/2013 Trainer-owner Ernest E. Haynes. Horse, 5YO chestnut gelding Distorted Appeal (38 starts 4-12-3, earnings $131,764) broke down during the 4th race, a $5K CLM near the 7/18th pole with a compound/comminuted fracture to the left front 3rd metacarpal… EUTHANIZED. This one began its career on 08/07/2010 with trainer Mark Shuman (former Mike Gill trainer) in a $50K MSW at Saratoga. Dead three years later running for $5K at Charles Town.

    08/22/2013 Trainer Charles A. Shockley. Owner Robert F. Cline. Horse, 3YO gray gelding Captain Zulu (12 starts 2-0-4, earnings $32,670) broke down at the 3/16th pole during a $4.5-5 K CLM (in for the lower tag) suffered an open shattered left carpus… EUTHANIZED. (This was was the same race during which Weshuponakiss suffered his fatal tendon injury.) *Captain Zulu did not start 12/05/2012 to 04/12/2013. *He ran 1st out of nine his previous out, a $5K CLM on 08/08/2014. Charles Town.

    08/22/2013 Trainer-owner John A. Casey. Horse, 3YO bay gelding Weshuponakiss (10 starts 2-1-1, earnings $24,790) developed an infected tendon sheath in the right front after running 1st in a $5K CLM on (the gelding’s 10th start in 2013). The injury and infection were so severe that the gelding could not be saved. EUTHANIZED on 08/30/2013. (Captain Zulu also broke down during the race which injured Weshuponakiss.) Charles Town.

    08/17/2013 Trainer Joan A. Reynolds, trainer Jerry Brubaker. Horse, 3YO gray filly Civility Belle (4 starts 0-0-0) pulled up and vanned off after running 5th out of 10 in the 3rd race, a $5K MDN CLM on 08/15/2013 with a slab fracture to the right front third carpal. Prognosis poor after two days… EUTHANIZED. Charles Town.

    08/03/2013 Trainer Jamie Stokes. Owner Betty Hess. Horse, 6YO bay gelding Time For A Winner (43 starts 11-7-8, earnings $230,940, stakes placed) DROPPED DEAD (vet notes say “sudden death”) just past the wire after running 7th out of nine in the 7th race, a $25K AOC (in for the tag). Gelding’s previous start on 07/07/2013, he ran 1st out of six for a $12.5K tag. Charles Town.

    07/28/2013 Trainer John D. McKee. Horse, 3YO gray filly Tilt Til Dawn (9 starts 0-1-0, earnings $9,980) fractured her left front humerus during morning work… EUTHANIZED. *Had not raced since running 2nd in a MSW for trainer Cynthia O’Bannon and owners Tamara and Curtis Bass on 03/02/2013. Track vet records list John McKee as the filly’s trainer the day she died. Charles Town.

    07/28/2013 Trainer-owner Gregory L. Wilson. Horse, 4YO bay filly Spunky Country Gal (9 starts 0-1-0, earnings $2,480) broke down near the 5/16th pole with a shattered right hind pastern while running at the back of the field during a $4.5K MDN CLM vanned off and EUTHANIZED. Her previous out on 06/20/2014 in a $5K MDN CLM, the filly ran 1st out of 12. Prior to that, she ran 10th out of 12 for a $20K tag… dead at Charles Town.

    07/23/2013 Trainer Patricia A. Simpson. Owner Maria Ortiz. Horse, 3YO bay filly Babe A Liscious (4 starts 0-0-0, earnings $1,660) pulled up shortly after the start of a $10K MDN CLM with fractures to the right front sesamoids and a ruptured tendon on 07/21/2013, vanned off. EUTHANIZED two days later. Charles Town.

    07/20/2013 Trainer-owner Stephen A. Spears. Breeder Colebrook Farms. Jockey Katie Crews. Horse, 7YO chestnut gelding Pantastic (39 starts 3-3-15, earnings $88,639) broke down near the 5/8th pole running for a $4.5K tag, suffered displaced fractures to the right front sesamoid bones, medial region… vanned off and EUTHANIZED. *The gelding began its career at Woodbine with Ashlee Bjrnas, broke its maiden second out on 04/09/2010 THEN WAS ON LAYUP FOR ELEVEN MONTHS… Once Pantastic hit the claiming ranks, he was hard used, often running twice a month: two starts in June of 2013, two starts in October of 2012, two starts in September of 2012, two starts in June of 2012 and one start every other month in between… Charles Town.

    07/06/2013 Trainer Howard E. Wolfendale. Owner Tammy J. Wolfendale. Horse, 5YO bay mare Subira (34 starts 8-6-6, earnings $136,210) broke down at the 3/16th pole during a $4.5K CLM, fractured the left front sesamoids. EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. *THIS RACE WAS THE MARE’S 2ND START AFTER A SIX-MONTH LAYUP. *Began her career on on 06/06/2010 running 3rd in a $30K MDN CLM for Steve Asmussen at CHD. Three years later, dead on the track at Charles Town.

    06/27/2013 Trainer-owner Gerald Coker Jr. Breeder John Robert Shuler. Jockey Victor Rodriguez. Horse, 4YO bay gelding Brooks In Town (29 starts 3-4-3, earnings $41,085) pulled up after running 5th in the 9th race, a $5K CLM—suffered a fractured pelvis and torn muscles… EUTHANIZED on 07/05/2013. *TWO WEEKS EARLIER on 06/13/2012, the gelding ran 7th out of seven in a $5K CLM. One start in May. Ran 4th on 04/20/2013. Ran 4th on 04/11/2013. Two starts in March. Two starts in February. Two starts in January… *THE RACE WHICH KILLED HIM WAS THE GELDING’S 11TH START IN SIX MONTHS. Charles Town.

    07/05/2013 Trainer Mark Shanley. Owner Stephen C. Shawyer. Breeder O’Sullivan Farms LLC. Jockey Ramon Maldonado. Horse, 4YO chestnut filly Prized Storm (4 starts 0-0-0) broke down near the quarter pole in the 3rd race, a 4.5 furlong $8-10K MDN CLM (in for the lower tag), suffered fractures in both front legs—left front open (skin broken) medial fracture, right front “shattered” according to state vet notes (does not state which parts were broken), vanned off and EUTHANIZED. *The filly’s last out, she 8th out of 10 in a $4.5-5K MDN CLM, in for the lower tag, on 05/30/2013. *A 2X CLASS JUMP ATER RUNNING A SOUNDLY-BEATEN 8TH 36 DAYS EARLIER? WTF? Charles Town.

    07/03/2013 Trainer Leslie A. Condon. Owner Luis F. Mendez. Horse, 5YO gelding Proud Era (13 starts 1-1-1, earnings $15,520) suffered an infection to the right hind talus and surrounding soft tissue. EUTHANIZED. Last raced on 05/12/2013 when he ran 5th out of five in a $4.5K CLM. Charles Town.

    07/01/2013 Trainer-owner Renee A. Schlesinger. Jockey Jevian Toledo. Horse, 3YO chestnut filly Yankee Kiss (6 starts 1-0-0, earnings $8,455) went wrong running 7th out of nine in a $4.5-5K CLM (in for the lower tag) on 06/28/2013, pulled up past the wire with a fracture to the third carpal on the right front; race chart makes no mention of what happened. Three days later, her prognosis was poor per state vet’s notes, and the filly was EUTHANIZED. *FOURTEEN DAYS EARLIER on 06/14/2013, the filly had run 6th out of nine for a $5K tag. *TWO STARTS IN MAY: ran 4th on 05/18/2013 and 1st in a MDN CLM on 05/03/2013. No starts in April, two starts in March, one at Sam Houston and one at the FG. Dead at Charles Town.

    06/21/2013 Trainer Maryann Iacone. Owner Deborah K. Bayles. Breeder Steve Tucker. Jockey Luis A. Perez. Horse, 6YO chestnut mare The Urugaucha (38 starts 6-11-5, earnings $94,747) suffered disarticulations/fractures to both front fetlocks near the ½ mile pole while running in 2nd during the 4th race, a $5K CLM. EUTHANIZED (PROBABLY ON THE TRACK). *TWO WEEKS EARLIER on 06/27/2013, the mare ran 8th out of eight for $5K. Began her career at Calder. Second time out on 10/23/2009, she DNF and *DID NOT START AGAIN FOR OVER A YEAR… dead at Charles Town.

    06/21/2013 Trainer Busanda Armstrong. Owner Gregory T. Martin. Breeder O’Sullivan Farms. Jockey Jalon L. Samuel. Horse, 4YO chestnut filly Dolly Sods (10 starts 0-3-2, earnings $11,420) pulled up with a carpal slab fracture to the left front after running 2nd out of nine in the 9th race, an $8-10K MDN CLM (in for the lower tag), was EUTHANIZED on 06/26/2013. *TWELVE DAYS EARLIER the filly also ran 2nd, same connections, same conditions. Charles Town.

    06/13/2013 Trainer Joan A. Reynolds. Owner Sweet Magnolia Farm. Breeder Glenn E. Brok. Jockey J.D. Acosta. Horse, 3YO dark bay gelding Uaresogood (8 starts 1-2-0, earnings $22,840) was pulled up and vanned off with a fracture to the right front medial sesamoid after crossing the wire 2nd in a $5K CLM, EUTHANIZED the following day. *TWELVE DAYS EARLIER on 06/01/2013, the gelding ran 5th out of seven in a $12.5K CLM. Charles Town.

    06/05/2013 Trainer-owner Steven Austin. Breeder Joe Sugar Jr. Horse, 5YO mare Pure Rhythm (8 0-0-1, earnings $2,207) suffered a slab fracture to the right front carpal during morning work…. EUTHANIZED. *Had not raced since running 5th in a $5K MDN CLM on 11/25/2012 at MTR for former trainer-owner Andy Sanchez—not claimed, must have been sold or given away to Steven Austin. *HAD LAYUP HISTORY— Pure Rhythm made her debut as a 3YO at TAM with trainer William Cowans and owner Joe Sugar Jr. on 04/03/2011 when she ran 6th in a $12.5K MDN CLM (“showed little”)—not claimed—fell off the grid… SHOWED UP FOURTEEN MONTHS LATER on 06/16/2012 at PID where she ran 8th out of eight in a $7.5K MDN CLM for new trainer-owner Randall R. Russell—on 08/03/2012 she ran 5th in a MDN CLM—on 08/30/2012, she ran 6th in a MDN CLM—moved from PID to MNR and ran 4th in a $5K MDN CLM on 09/08/2012—*THIRTEEN DAYS LATER on 09/21/2012, she ran 3rd in a MDN CLM, still with Russell—not claimed, must have been sold or given away—on 10/08/2012, she ran 6th out of seven (the 8th filly DNF) in a $5K MDN CLM at MNR for new trainer-owner Andy Sanchez—on 11/25/2012, she ran 5th out of six (the 7th filly DNF) in a $5K MDN CLM with Sanchez at MTR—not claimed—fell off the grid—SEVEN MONTHS LATER, she reappeared at CT in training with Steven Austin… and then she was dead. Charles Town. (Why does this mare’s story remind me of human trafficking, buying and selling young girls and moving them around the country to be used and abused by men hungry for sex? And why the fuck was she back in training?)

    05/31/2013 Trainer Ralph W. Comi Jr.. Owners David and Steven Shawyer. Breeder Juan Almodovar. Jockey Gerald Almodovar. Horse, 3YO chestnut gelding A and E Upgrade (15 starts 1-1-3) went wrong after the wire in a $4.5K CLM, suffered a slab fracture to the third carpal. Efforts to save the gelding were unsuccessful; EUTHANIZED on 06/05/2013. *ON 05/11/2013—TWENTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE RACE WHICH KILLED HIM—the gelding won a $4.5K MDN CLM. *Two starts in April. *Two starts in March. *One each in February and January. *Two starts in December. *One in November. *THREE STARTS IN OCTOBER 2012… PRECEDED BY A FIVE-MONTH LAYUP. (NOTE: Vet report lists Mark Shanley as dead gelding’s trainer; Equibase charts list Comi as trainer; not claimed; Comi was trainer on date of injury.) Charles Town.

    05/30/2013 Trainer Jeff C. Runco. Owner JBL Thoroughbreds Inc. Breeder Marilyn F. Seltzer. Jockey Jose Montana. Horse, 3YO dark bay gelding Too Much Scat (3 starts 1-0-0, earnings $17,950) pulled up with fractured right front sesamoids after crossing the wire 4th out of seven in a $26K ALW (J. Montano in the irons) (the 8th horse DNF), vanned off and EUTHANIZED the following day, 05/31/2013. Charles Town.

    05/24/2013 Trainer Steven Romeka. Owner Team Gold Racing. Breeder John Casey. Jockey Mauricio Rodriguez. Horse, 3YO bay filly Weshaam’sluckyhat (12 starts 1-1-2, earnings $18,820). While running well clear in 2nd place and coming on strong during the 9th race—a $5K CLM—the filly suffered a compound/comminuted fracture to her right front MCIII. Jockey Mauricio Rodriguez did his best to ease the filly to safety, but she wouldn’t stop—she continued trying to run with a dangling forelimb, a horrible thing to witness—and God only knows how Rodriguez felt as he tried to slow the filly so he could jump off and keep ahold of the reins with a full field coming on behind him… EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. Weshaam’sluckyhat been claimed by trainer Anthony M. Rideoutt II for owner Ernest F. Wills Jr.—no way they could’ve save her, not when she had a broken cannon bone with bones poking out through skin and tendon—meaning that Rideoutt and Wills had paid $5K for a dead filly the moment they dropped their slip in the claims box that day. Charles Town.

    05/24/2013 Trainer Walter J. Shauf. Owner Brock Stables. Breeder Dr. Dennis L. Bybee. Jockey Luis A. Batista. Jockey Horse, 3YO dark bay gelding Mysterious Numbers (4 starts 2-1-0, earnings $18,600) suffered a carpal slab fracture to the right front near the 3/16th pole during a $10K CLM, vanned off and EUTHANIZED. Race chart says “appeared to take a bad step…” Really? Really? A “bad step”? Really? A “bad step” causes a hunk of a bone in a horse’s third carpal to shear itself away from the rest of the bone? Does whoever writes these charts also still believe that monsters live under his bed? Charles Town.

    05/17/2013 Trainer Kevin Patterson. Owner Moshe Mark. Breeder Five of Us Farm. Jockey Gerald Almodovar. Horse, 3YO bay gelding Artistic Honors (3 starts 2-0-0, earnings $37,800) broke down at the top of the stretch while running clear in first during the 7th race, a $27K ALW—went down as abruptly as if he’d been shot—the gelding had fractured his right front sesamoids and suffered “possible fracture” (per the track vet’s notes) to his left front sesamoids as well. EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. This lovely 3YO gelding won his first two career starts and would’ve won this one… if he’d lived to reach the wire. *Began his short career by running 1st in a $15K MDN CLM at PARX for trainer Edward Coletti, Jr. on 02/02/2013—claimed from that race by Keith W. LeBarron for Vince Campanella—ran 1st his second start on 03/12/2013 at PARX—claimed from that race for $10K by trainer Ramon Moya for owner Moshe Mark… *WHY DID TRAINER KEITH LeBARRON AND OWNER VINCE CAMPANELLA DROP THIS WINNING 3YO GELDING IN CLASS BY A THIRD—DROPPED FROM RUNNING FOR $15K TO RUNNING FOR A $10K TAG—FIRST OFF THE CLAIM, FIRST OFF A WIN? A radical class drop off a win, a radical class drop first off the claim? Why? You tell me. The gelding’s next start for new owner Moshe Mark was also his last… dead at Charles Town.

    05/15/2013 Trainer Vernon Greaves. Owner Headingly Stables. Breeder Four Quarters Corp. Jockey Erik Ramirez. Horse, 4YO bay filly Miss Johann’s Kee (11 starts 1-2-2, earnings $15,508). Running beautifully in 1st coming out of the turn in the 9th race, a $4.5-5K CLM, then was visibly off and lugging out—for some reason jockey Erik Ramirez didn’t ease her from the race. He stands up, looks down, looks behind him as if he’s going to ease the filly—but he doesn’t, and they cross the wire in 9th, trailing the field. Miss Johann’s Kee was ‘off’ all right: she’d suffered a carpal slab fracture to the left front… EUTHANIZED four days later. *This race was the filly’s second start in May and her seventh start for the year—she ran 5th on 05/02/2013 for trainer Vernon Greaves and owner Headingly Stables—not been claimed, must’ve been sold or given away—on 04/09/2013, she ran 5th for former trainer *Jeff C. Runco and former owner-breeder Four Quarters Corporation—on 03/12/2013, she ran 1st by four and three-fourths lengths in a 4.5 furlong $5K MDN CLM for Runco and Four Quarters… Miss Johann’s Kee began her career at GGF running 4th out of six in a $20K MDN CLM for trainer *Greg James and owner Four Quarters Corporation on 06/14/2012. Next out on 07/22/2012, same owners, she’d moved from GGF to Jeff C. Runco’s barn at CT to run 7th out of eight in a $26K MSW… IN ELEVEN MONTHS, THIS BIG, BEAUTIFUL BAY FILLY WENT FROM RUNNING FOR $20K AT GOLDEN GATE TO DYING FOR $4.5K AT CHARLES TOWN. (*NOTE: when I was watching the filly’s last race, she reminded me of my own Sloopy, and it struck me that she was long and lanky like a Slew. Sure enough, her sire Truckee is out of Embellished by Seattle Slew—so she and my Sloopy share a grandsire but sadly for the filly, not the same ending to their racing careers.)

    04/25/2013 Trainer Leslie A. Condon. Owner Douglas Burnsworth. Breeder Condon and Burnsworth. Jockey Mauricio Rodriguez. Horse, 3YO dark bay/brown gelding Dugsarollingstone (6 starts 0-0-0, earnings $3,900) broke down during a morning work, shattered his right hind P1 and P2 bones (the P1 or proximal phalanx is the pastern bone—the P2 or medial phalanx lies directly below the pastern joint and connects with the P3 or distal phalanx a/k/a coffin bone)… EUTHANIZED. *In his last out before his death, this 3YO gelding ran 6th out of ten in the 6th on 04/17/2013, a $26K MSW, earned $520—on 03/21/2013, he ran 6th out of ten in a $26K MSW, earned $520—on 02/21/2013, he ran 5th out of ten in a $26K MSW, earned $780—on 01/02/2013, he ran 5th out of ten in a $26K MSW, earned $780—on 11/01/2013, he ran 5th out of ten in a $26K MSW, earned $780—on 10/11/2012, he made his debut by running 6th out of eight in a $26K MSW, earned $520. All races at Charles Town. *As I type out the little bay gelding’s race history—HIS SHORT LIFE STORY WITH ITS MONOTONOUS SAMENESS AND MONOTONOUSLY PREDICTABLE ENDING—IT LOOKS LIKE A MEDIEVAL DANSE MACABRE FRESCO… BUT HE EARNED ENOUGH TO PAY FOR HIS OATS AND STALL RENT, RIGHT? *RIP to a plain brown gelding who could’ve been interchanged with a thousand other plain brown geldings running to nowhere on the day you died. * RIP, innocent baby—you are no longer just another anonymous brown gelding who slipped beneath the waves without a soul in the outside world realizing that you were gone. *RIP, baby boy… Charles Town.

    04/24/2013 Trainer Larry M. Myers. Owner Larry D. Miller and Larry M. Myers. Breeder Larry D. Miller. Jockey Felicia Denninger. Horse, 3YO bay gelding Little Larry (2 starts 0-0, earnings $400) fractured his left rear P1 (pastern bone) while training… EUTHANIZED. The gelding’s last start before his death, he ran 6th out of seven (the 8th horse DNF) on 04/13/2013 in a $10K MDN CLM—earned $300. On 03/14/2013, he ran 8th out of eight in a $10K MDN CLM on 03/14/2013—earned $100. *THERE IS NOTHING IN LITTLE LARRY’S CHARTS WHICH INDICATES THAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN AT RISK—FRACTURES TO THE REAR PATERN BONES ARE SO RARE THAT ODDS ARE, THE GELDING KICKED THE WALL OF HIS STALL, KICKED IN THE WASHRACK, SOMETHING WHICH CAUSED AN UNDETECTABLE INJURY WHICH WENT FROM MINISCULE TO CATASTROPHIC WHEN HE GALLOPED. That’s what the carts and the research indicate, anyhow. *That said, his trainer got busted back in 2007 for possession of injectable medications and injection paraphernalia on association grounds. Both of Little Larry’s races and also his death happened at Charles Town.

    04/19/2013 Trainer Mark Joseph Racanelli. Owner Donna Tullner. Breeder Donna Tullner and Stephen Glessner. Jockey Carols Marrero. Horse, 4YO dark bay filly Fiesty Family (3 starts 0-0-0, earnings $550) broke down near the 5/16 pole while running 20 lengths off the lead during a $9K-10K MDN CLM—in for the lower tag—suffered a compound/comminuted (fractured into multiple pieces with bones poking through the skin) fracture to the left front CIII (cannon bone). Chart doesn’t say vanned off… EUTHANIZED (PROBABLY ON THE TRACK). *Her previous out, the filly ran 5th out of seven in a $10K MDN CLM on 03/19/2013, earned $450. *Her first start on 01/18/2013, she ran 9th out of ten—15 lengths off the winner—in a $10K MDN CLM, earned $100. Charles Town.

    04/18/2013 Trainer Jamie A. Stokes. Owner Tonya Dinterman. Breeder James W. Casey. Jockey Sylvester Carmouche. Horse, 5YO blaze-faced, bright copper chestnut gelding King of Scottland (29 starts 4-6-1, stakes placed, earnings $93,180) broke down a furlong from the wire—fractured his right front third carpal (a bone in the middle of the knee) during a 4.5 furlong $10K AOC (in for the tag), vanned off… EUTHANIZED. This was the gelding’s first start for Stokes and Dinterman—his first time to run 4.5 furlongs—Jamie Stokes claimed the gelding for $5K from a 6.5 furlong CLM on 04/14/2013. On 02/02/2013, the gelding ran 7th out of ten in a 6.5 furlong $8K CLM for former trainer Larry Myers and former owner Chance Romance Racing—on 01/05/2013, he ran 7th out of nine (the 10th horse DNF) in a 6.5 furlong $8K CLM—on 12/08/2012, he ran 2nd out of five in a 6.5 furlong $8K CLM… The gelding began his career by running 1st out of eight on 09/24/2010 in a $26K MSW for former trainer James Casey. Less than three years later, he was dead. All races including the one that killed him at Charles Town.

    04/17/2013 Trainer Simon Hobson. Owner Colebrook Farms. Horse, 4YO chestnut gelding Dancing Gourmet (11 starts 0-3-2, earnings $10,379) Sylvester Carmouche III in the irons. The gelding broke down at the 3/8 pole, shortly after entering the backstretch during a seven-furlong $5K MDN CLM, suffered a fractured and disarticulated left front ankle… EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. *The gelding began its short career in the barn of Canadian trainer Ashlee Bjrnas—first start, ran 6th out of eight in a $5K MDN CLM at Fort Erie on 08/28/2012. Owner Colebrook Farms moved the gelding to CT and the barn of Doug Shanyfelt for whom he ran 3rd, 2nd, 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 4th (two starts in December of 2012), 3rd, 4th (two starts in March of 2013). After eight races with Shanyfelt—transferred to the barn of Simon Hobson. First out on Hobson’s watch, the gelding broke down catastrophically… dead at Charles Town.

    04/11/2013 Trainer Kimberly Graci. Owner Moshe Mark. Breeder Kildare Stud and D. Owens. Horse, 5YO chestnut mare JSP Pals Forever (26 starts 7-5-2, earnings $74,296). Gerald Almodovar in the irons, 8th race. The mare broke down entering the first turn of $28K ALW—fractured left front sesamoids. The race chart says “broke down” but the racecaller says she was pulled up, so it’s possible that she was EUTHANIZED at the barn and not on the track. Either way… JSP Pals Forever was dead. *The mare began her career at Gulfstream on 01/16/2011, ran 2nd in a $25K MDN CLM for trainer Larry Rivelli who often sent her to the gate twice a month. On 11/04/2011, she ran 5th out of eleven in a 6.5 furlong $5K CLM—*FOLLOWED BY A SIX-MONTH LAYUP—returned on 05/06/2012 to run 6th out of 12 in a one-mile $5K CLM at Arlington. THREE WEEKS LATER on 05/27/2012, she ran 1st in a one-mile $7.5K CLM. On 02/02/2013, claimed by Kimberly Gracey off Larry Rivelli at Penn from a $5K CLM where she finished 6th. First off the claim, still at Penn, she ran 1st out of five in a $4K CLM. Moved to CT, entered in an ALW above her class (with the purses for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th being $2800, $1400, $840, and $560 respectively), and then she was dead. Charles Town.
    04/09/2013 Trainer Crystal G. Pickett. Owner-breeder James W. Arrison. Horse, 4YO bay gelding Flattering Andy (12 starts 3-2-5, earnings $80,010). Grant Whitacre in the irons. Flattering Andy broke down near the 3/16 pole during race eight, a 4.5 furlong $29K ALW—the gelding was running along in 3rd then without warning dropped as if he’d been shot—suffered a compound fracture (bones poking through skin) of the left front MCIII (canon bone)—the gelding went down, slammed his rider to the ground, forced another horse to jump over him… and all the racecaller says is that Flattering Andy “fell and lost the rider”… EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. (*NOTE: THIS GELDING WAS PREVIOUSLY INJURED, ON LAYUP FOR EIGHT MONTHS from 01/20/2012 to 09/09/2012.) Never ran for a tag. Charles Town.

    04/08/2013 Trainer David Smith. Breeder Rene K. Moore & Naylee Farm. Horse, unraced 3YO bay filly Angel Caido suffered a fracture to the right front MCIII during a morning work… EUTHANIZED. Charles Town.

    04/03/2013 Trainer Sandra A. Dono. Owner Dimitri Racing Stable Inc.. Breeder Bybee Road Farm. Sunday Diaz in the irons Horse, 3YO bay gelding Lily’s Lion (3 starts 1-0-0, earnings $17,190) broke down while training, suffered a fracture to the left front MCIII (cannon bone)… EUTHANIZED. Last out prior to death, the gelding ran 5th out of seven in a $27K ALW, earned $810. Prior to that, ran 1st out of nine in a $26K MSW on 02/06/2013, earned $15,500. First start on 01/15/2013, ran 5th out of ten in a $26K MSW, earned $789. All three races and death at Charles Town.

    03/27/2013 Trainer Stephen A. Spears. Owner Reggetts Racing Stable. Breeder Terri T. Catlett. Horse, 5YO chestnut mare G C’s Spitfire (11 starts 3-1-1, earnings $28,130). Katie Crews in the irons. The mare broke down past the wire after running 6th out of eight in a 4.5 furlong $4.5K CLM, vanned off… EUTHANIZED on 04/17/2013. *THIS RACE WAS THE MARE’S FIRST TIME RUNNING 4.5 FURLONGS AND HER FIRST START COMING OFF A SEVEN-MONTH LAYUP—she hadn’t raced since running 6th out of nine in a 6.5 furlong $5K CLM on 08/24/2012. *PREVIOUS SEVEN-MONTH LAYUP from her second start on 05/05/2011 to 01/14/2012 when she ran 7th out of nine in a $26K ALW for former trainer David Walters. Ran all her races and died at Charles Town.

    03/23/2013 Trainer Raul A. Garrido. Owner Hussein A. Ezzat, Arnaldo Bocachica in the irons. Horse, 4YO bay gelding Toy Store (20 starts 4-3-2, earnings $48,080) broke down near the quarter pole during the 2nd race, a 4.5 furlong $4.5-5K CLM (in for the lower tag), suffered a compound/comminuted fracture fracture to the left front MCIII (bones poking through skin, the cannon bone shattered into multiple pieces) … EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. One horse fell over Toy Store but got up and walked off. Two others were also involved in the accident and lost their riders but finished the race 2nd and 4th and came back to be unsaddled. One of the loose horses panicked and ran loose in the wrong direction. Only two of the six starters in this race crossed the wire with jockeys still aboard. *Toy Store’s last out prior to the race that killed him, he ran 10th out of ten on 02/09/2013, same conditions, same connections. *Prior to that, on 01/12/2014, he ran 1st out of six, same conditions, same connections. THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE GODAWFUL BREAKDOWNS WHERE YOU CAN HEAR IT IN THE RACECALLER’S VOICE—YOU CAN HERE HIM STRUGGLING TO CONTROL HIS EMOTIONS. *Toy Store began his career in the barn of Gary Capuano… spent his entire short, sad career at Charles Town.

    03/21/2013 Trainer Anthony Carone. Owner Mike Cogan. Jockey Jerry Villegas. Horse, 7YO bay mare Girl Prize (45 starts 2-4-12, earnings $46,660) suffered a disarticulation of the right front fetlock—the bones in the joint became separated—during the 3rd race, a $5K CLM. The jockey flew off when her ankle disarticulated, but the mare tried to keep going on three legs with a hoof dangling as she ran… EUTHANIZED. *Prior to her death, Girl Prize ran 3rd on 02/26/2013—ran 4th on 02/22/2013—ran 4th on 02/13/2013—THIS MARE MADE THREE STARTS IN A 15-DAY TIMESPAN, and a month later she was dead. Charles Town.

    03/20/2013 Trainer Walter Shauf. Owner Brock Stables. Luis A. Batista in the irons. Horse, 4YO dark bay filly Rough Draft (10 starts 2-2-2, earnings $57,750) suffered a compound/comminuted (open, the bone in multiple pieces) fracture to the LMCIII near the quarter pole while running well clear in 3rd in the 8th race, a 4.5 furlong $27K ALW, went down abruptly flinging Batista to the track as she fell…. EUTHANIZED. This race was the filly’s eighth start in four months. Rough Draft’s previous out, she ran 5th out of five in a $35K AOC (no tag) at Aqueduct on 02/22/2013. Prior to that, she ran 5th out of six in a $40K AOC on 01/29/2013 at CT—on 01/18/2013, she ran 2nd out of six in a $27K ALW at CT—on 01/05/2013, she ran 2nd in a $25K AOC (no tag) at CT… run to death, this mare. Run. To. Death. Charles Town.

    03/14/2013 Trainer Kevin Kevin Buttigieg. Owner Frederick J. Nixon. Horse, 8YO gray gelding Nice Case (26 starts 10-5-7, earnings $204,632) broke down near the quarter pole during the 2nd race, a four-and-a-half furlong $8K CLM, suffered a fracture to the right front MCIII… EUTHANIZED. *THE FATAL RACE WAS THE GELDING’S 8TH START OFF TWO LAYUPS—on layup FOR OVER A YEAR from 02/17/2010 to 07/07/2011, came back to run 2nd in a “battle of the breeds” race featuring QH and TB runners, 870 yards at QH speed. DID NOT START FOR TWO MONTHS… came back to run 3rd in the same type of race on 09/03/2014 then ran 1st in a five furlong $4K CLM, first quarter in :22.01… After that, he ran 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st on 02/16/2013 in a four-and-a-half furlong $8K CLM, and then he was dead. Ramon Maldonado in the irons. Charles Town.

    03/13/2013 Trainer Timothy Stanley. Owner Top Flight Racing Stable. Luis Batista in the irons. Horse, 5YO bay gelding Zapper’s Passion (1 start) went wrong in the right front near the 1/8 pole during a $5K MDN CLM, suffered , suffered a severe bowed tendon, vanned off and EUTHANIZED. Race chart says “eased, vanned off sore.” *THIS RACE WAS THE 5YO GELDING’S FIRST AND ONLY START. Claimed from the race by Douglas S. Adams for Gary Myers, meaning that they were the ones who made the decision to cut their loses and euthanize Zapper’s Passion. Charles Town.

    03/08/2013 Trainer Ronney W. Brown. Owner Norman Garnes. Jose Montano in the irons. Horse, 7YO dark bay gelding B’Cause B’Cause (59 starts 8-10-10, earnings $186,551) went wrong at the 3/8 pole during the 5th race, running for a $4.5K tag, fractured the right front medial sesamoid, vanned off and EUTHANIZED. B’Cause B’Cause had 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and 1st his previous seven starts… after running 7th, 7th and a DNF, same conditions. Previous trainers include Ernest Haynes, Bruce Kravets, Todd Beattie, Murray Rojas, John Conner, Robert Tiller (who started him and had him when the gelding was running for $40K in 2009). In four years, this gelding went from running for $40K to dying for $4.5K… Charles Town.

    03/08/2013 Trainer Stacey R. Viands. Owner Debbie Rhodes. Luis Batista in the irons. Horse, 4YO bay gelding Moycullen (14 starts 0-1-1, earnings $6,180) broke down at the 7/16th pole during the 9th race, a 6.5 furlong $4.5-$5K MDN CLM (in for lower tag), suffered a fractured left rear pastern… EUTHANIZED. Moycullen broke well, had been at the front of the pack and left the gate as the favorite, full of life and full of run. A few minutes later, he was nothing but another dead horse ready to be hauled away for disposal. *Other than not starting until he was a 4YO with a singular lack of racing talent (ran 7th his first five starts, then 4th, 4th, 5th, 10th, 7th and finally hit the board when he ran 3rd his 11th time out of the box on 12/07/2013), there is nothing in the gelding’s charts to indicate that he was an accident waiting to happen—oh yea, that and his THREE BACK-TO-BACK STARTS IN NOVEMBER OF 2012 FOLLOWED BY A REMARKABLE CHANGE IN FORM… ah bon? Charles Town.

    02/21/2013 Trainer Arthur E. Wilhide, Jr. Owner Scott G. Wilhide. Jockey Jan R. Marrero. Horse, 5YO chestnut gelding Better Shop Around (21 starts 4-3-2, earnings $44,800) broke down near the ½ pole during the 7th race, a mile and a sixteenth $4.5K CLM—suffered a compound, comminuted fracture to the LMCIII (open fracture, cannon bone in multiple fragments)—running in the clear at the front, then went down so fast that if you blinked, you’d miss it… EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. The racecaller refers to the breakdown as “the spill that occurred on the backside” while Better Shop Around was lying there with a broken leg, and the horse who’d fallen over his body was also injured…. *This race was the gelding’s first (and last) start off a four-month layup subsequent to a win on 10/11/2012, same conditions, same connections. Charles Town.

    02/14/2013 Trainer Ronney W. Brown. Owner Norman Garnes. Horse, 6YO bright bay gelding Coal Fired (20 starts 3-5-2, earnings $80,876) suffered a disarticulated right front fetlock—his ankle bones separated—at the 1/16th pole during the 8th race, a $12.5K AOC (in for the tag)… *EUTHANIZED. The gelding began its career at CHD on 06/20/2009 with Darrin Miller, ran 4th in a MSW on 06/20/2009—*DID NOT START AGAIN FOR A YEAR—ran 7th on 07/04/2010 in a MSW—*THEN DID NOT START AGAIN FOR ANOTHER YEAR—ran 2nd in a $30K MDN CLM on 07/04/2011. (NOTE: Bridge Loan who finished 6th out of six in this race bled through lasix.) Charles Town.

    02/12/2013 Trainer Lewis P. Close. Owner-breeder Martha A. Close. Victor Rodriguez in the irons. Horse, 5YO dark bay gelding Star Power Diamond (9 starts 1-0-0, earnings $9,220) broke down during the 5th race, a $5K CLM—suffered a compound fracture to the left front MCIII at the 1/6 pole… EUTHANIZED. This race was the gelding’s second start off a *SIX-MONTH LAYUP from 07/20/2012 when he ran 1st in a MDN CLM to 01/10/2013 when he ran 9th. He was previously on a *SIX-MONTH LAYUP from 11/06/2011 until 05/17/2012… dead at Charles Town.

    02/07/2013 Trainer James W. Casey. Owner Taylor Mountain Farm LLC. Jockey Antonio Lopez. Horse, 4YO dark bay gelding Rocky Twist (16 starts 1-6-3, earnings $56,990) pulled up lame and vanned off after crossing the wire 2nd a $26K ALW, had suffered multiple fractures to a right front carpal (vet doesn’t specify which bone or which type of fracture, probably multiple fractures to the accessory carpal)… EUTHANIED THE FOLLOWING DAY. The gelding had run once a month like clockwork for a year, no layups, no class jumps or drops, the only thing strange is that he ran 5th the race before his last start after having finished 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, and 2nd his previous seven starts. *WHAT’S WORRISOME IS THE GELDING’S CHANGE IN FORM: HE ALWAYS TRIED TO TAKE HIMSELF TO THE FRONT AND DID HIS BEST TO HOLD ON. *THE RACE WHERE HE RAN 5TH—HE NEVER TRIED. SHOWED NOTHING. *VERY MUCH OUT OF CHARACTER—ALARMINGLY OUT OF CHARACTER. Maybe he was in a mood that day, or maybe his knee was starting to bother him. Given the fact that he didn’t break down but was “pulled up, lame” according to the race chart—and the fact that he wasn’t immediately put down—my guess is that he’d suffered fractures to the accessory carpal (the bone at the back of the knee), an injury which can sometimes be healed with stall rest and immobilization or surgical repair. *This is not an injury which occurs spontaneously via the mythical bad step… and it’s a really, really good reason to radiograph knees and ankles prior to every race, which so few bother to do. Carpal fractures are caused by too much stress over time and exacerbated by corticosteroid injections to the joint. Not saying that this particular dead gelding had his knees tapped, but most do… dead at Charles Town.

    01/30/2013 Trainer Joan A. Reynolds. Owner-breeder Charles M. Wilson. Jockey Antonio Lopez. Horse, 5YO chestnut mare I’m Miss Leeding (10 starts 0-4-3, earnings $12,244) went wrong at the wire in the 1st race, a $7.5K MDN CLM, suffered a slab fracture to the right front 3rd carpal (a bone in the middle of the knee with the 2nd and 4th carpals on either side, sits just above the MCIII or cannon bone), vanned off and EUTHANIZED. *THIS RACE WAS THE MARE’S 6TH START IN THREE MONTHS. *Previously? *ON LAYUP FOR A YEAR—from 08/12/2011 to 08/30/2012… Dead at Charles Town.

    01/15/2013 Trainer Keith A. Brown. Owner the Hat Ranch and Keith Brown. Jockey, Christopher Ho. Horse, 4YO bay gelding Wild Minister (2 starts 0-0) vanned off after running 8th out of eight in a $5K MDN CLM, had suffered a to the right front MCIII… EUTHANIZED. *This was the 4YO gelding’s second start. *Three months earlier on 10/13/2012, he ran 9th out of nine in a $26K MSW. (*Trainer has priors for failure to pay fine, no foal papers, and fighting: “Mr. Brown was involved in a physical altercation in the barn area on Friday, June 16, 2006. He is also put on probation for the rest of the year. Any further incidents could result in the revocation of his occupational permit.”) Charles Town.

    01/12/2013 Trainer Jamie Ness. Owner Midwest Thoroughbreds. Jockey Garry Cruise. Horse, 7YO bay gelding No Suitcases (39 starts, 5-10-4, earnings $149,230) “pulled up lame past the three eights pole and was vanned off” per the race chart, suffered a slab fracture to the LF carpus…EUTHANIZED. Had been claimed by Ness for $20K on 10/08/2011. Previous trainers include *Richard Small, *Howard Wolfendale, and *Hugh McMahon. *NINE MONTH LAYUP between 2011 and 2012. First start of the layup, ran $16K AOC (in for the tag) on 08/01/2012. Ran 7th *FIFTEEN DAYS LATER, same level, on 08/16/2012 at Presque Isle. On 09/15/2012, ran 2nd for a $15K tag at Penn. On 10/05/2012, *MAJOR CLASS DROP, ran for $7.5K, finished 5th out of 10. On 11/07/2012, he ran 8th out of 8 in a $6.25K CLM at Penn. On 01/12/2013, another class drop, and he was down to running for $50K… and then he was dead. *CAN ANYONE LOOK AT THIS HISTORY AND NOT SEE A DEAD HORSE WALKING? Fucking asshole connections… Charles Town.

    01/12/2013 Trainer Russell E. Davis. Owner Yvonne G. Davis. Jockey Mathew Carroll McGowan. Horse, 3YO chestnut gelding Majestic Wind (8 starts 1-1-0, earnings $17,297) vanned off after the running 4th in the 6th race, $7.5K CLM, suffered a left front condylar fracture… EUTHANIZED. Charles Town.

    01/11/2013 Trainer Jeff C. Runco. Owner Silverton Hill Racing LLC. Jokey Jose Montano. Horse, 5YO Murjan (12 starts 4-0-2, earnings $41,251) suffered disarticulated left front fetlock during a $5K CLM, vanned off… EUTHANIZED. This one was imported from Peru and began his U.S. career by running 11th out of 11 in the 2010 G1 Gray Goose BC Juvenile with trainer Darrin Miller and Owner Silverton Hill LLC. Four months later, he ran 9th out of nine in the $50K ungraded black-type Hansel Stakes on 03/26/2011. *DID NOT START FOR A YEAR, came back to run 7th out of seven in a $35K ALW (chart says “through early,” which he certainly was). Next out on 05/26/2012, he ran for a $25K tag, finished 5th out of six, chart says “lacked response.” On 06/09/2012, he was run for $10K, finished 3rd out of five. *FIFTEEN DAYS LATER, he’s dropped in for $18K, finished 3rd out of 11. On 09/01/2012, he showed up at Charles Town and ran 1st out of seven in an $8K CLM (talk about a class drop) with trainer Jeff C. Runco, same owner. On 11/28/2013, the connections in their infinite wisdom ran this unsound animal in a $12.5K AOC, in for the tag—he finished 7th out of seven, ran last the whole way. *A MONTH AND A HALF LATER, THEY DROPPED HIM IN FOR $5K, AND HE BROKE DOWN DURING A RACE WHERE THE TRACK WAS SO FOGGY THAT IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY EXACTLY WHERE HE WENT DOWN—what’s indisputable is that he was not a sound horse, that he suffered a disarticulated left front ankle (can you imagine the pain of your ankle coming apart?)… and now the horse is dead, presumably because his owners were determined to get back at least some of their investment and to hell with what it cost poor Murjan. Charles Town.

    01/10/2013 Trainer-owner Robert J.W. Johnston. Jockey Carlos Marrero. Horse, 6YO chestnut gelding Iwillgotothemoon (30 starts 6-3-5, earnings $281,829) broke down crossing the wire during a $5K CLM, suffered a right front fracture and disarticulated ankle… EUTHANIZED. Iwillgotothemoon had been claimed by Ollie Figgins III, meaning that under West Virginia claiming rules, Figgins bought himself a dead gelding. This gelding had run 13th his previous start at Woodbine for an $8K tag. Nobody wanted him, so Johnston took him to Charles Town and unloaded him for five. After 30 races and $281,829 and stints with trainers Steve Attard and owner Sheldon Pettle, for whom he won a $50K CLM on 05/06/2012—*SEVEN MONTHS PRIOR TO HIS DEATH IN A $5K CLM, Iwillgotothemoon WON A FUCKING $50,000 CLM—COMING OFF A SIX-MONTH LAYUP, HE WON THAT RACE. On 10/09/2012, he won a $10CLM for the same connections… the last race he finished, the one where he ran 13th, he was still with Attard and Pettle. He wasn’t claimed (who would want him?) so they must have sold him or given him to Robert J.W. Johnston who turned around and ran the horse for $5K less than two months after the disastrous 13th place finish which would have told any reasonable person to retire this gelding—this gelding who had earned $281,829—and then found himself running for $5K and then trying to run on three legs and then sedated and waiting for the needle which would take him away from his miserable life… dead at Charles Town.

    01/04/2013 Trainer Rhea M. Pennella. Owner Franklin L. Bentley. Jockey Gilberto Santiago. Horse, 4YO chestnut gelding Cats Royal Wedding (4 starts 0-0-1) broke down coming out of the turn during the 5th race, a 4.5 furlong $26K MSW, suffered a left front MCIII fracture. EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK. His previous outs were a 4th place finish in a MSW on 10/13/2012, a 10th place finish on 09/01/2012 and a 3rd place finish first time out of the box in a MSW on 08/02/2010. All the racecaller says is that the fallen gelding “has lost the rider”… Charles Town.

    • Ms.Broussard with so much info on others at your disposal how is it the stats on yourself are so misleading… Take some of that research time and go look in the mirror…

      • We are dealing with facts. Questioning personal “stats” is irrelevant. They have nothing to do with what is reported by Ms. Broussard.

      • Hey, AC2, didn’t you call Ashado Cat a “no count” filly? Take that comment and go look in the mirror but change the “filly” to “human”. I’m a bit disappointed that Patrick took the post down since I would like for everyone to see what a vile human being you really are. If you are unhappy with what is posted here, perhaps you, and the trolls, should focus on another site….maybe a pro-abuse one!

      • AC2, yes, you are absolutely correct. After your derogatory comment about Ashado Cat, I now feel the same way about you – a “no count” human who makes his living in a sinister and corrupt industry – racing. If you feel that way about a low level horse, such as Ashado Cat, I would assume that you feel the exact same way about ALL the other low level horses and the majority of horses in racing are just that – low level. Again, you showed your true colors with your comment.

        You came on this site months ago and babbled about the drugs that humans take, and, sometimes, become addicted to, when they are ill/sick/injured. You accused me of selling oxycontin which, of course, was a lie but who cares when there is a blog called Horseracing Wrongs and you, who chooses to remain anonymous, can get some attention by telling those lies. You must be incredibly slow or perhaps you just like to pick a fight, but I told you MONTHS ago that there is a way to destroy the pharmaceutical industry. When you, your wife, or your family gets a sinus infection, drink water and eat your veggies. Do NOT get a prescription for an antibiotic. When you, your wife, or your family gets a headache, do NOT take Advil because, by doing so, you put money into the pockets of those who work in the pharmaceutical industry. If a family member gets cancer, drink grapefruit juice and eat tofu. Put on those “no count” pants of yours and tell the oncologist that you refuse to support an industry where certain companies manufacture pain meds. Anyone, with minimal intelligence, knows that companies want to sell a “product”. That “product” can be horseracing, cars, pharmaceutical medications, or medical equipment. If you have a problem with ANY industry, AC2, then DO NOT BUY THOSE PRODUCTS! That seems incredibly simple to me but, for some reason, you seem to struggle with that concept.

        You are correct when you say that the pharmaceutical industry wants to make a PROFIT. ALL companies want to make a PROFIT. Penn Gaming wants to make a PROFIT. You, AC2, want to make a PROFIT. Have you ever purchased a home, lived in that home for several years, and sold it for a PROFIT? Have you ever bought an individual stock, or mutual fund, and sold it for a PROFIT? Have you ever seen an advertisement for the Breeder’s Cup which attempts to get people to attend, and BET, because the track wants to make a PROFIT? Without PROFITS, our economy would be non-existent and neither you nor me would have a job. End of story!

        Now, you accuse me of being a “Vial Lady” yet you work in an industry where the vets make one hundred million a year (and that is a conservative estimate) peddling LASIX and then the “buffoon”, Larry Bramlage (a Vial Man), says that racing must stop using Lasix because the public doesn’t know the difference between Lasix and cocaine. Really? Of course, Bramlage, and his colleagues, want to inject and inject and inject because they don’t want to lose the revenue. Business 101! So, just to, once again, be clear, I am against Lasix, not because I think you are “no count”. but because it is detrimental to the horses. Therefore, for those that are a bit slow, I want Lasix to go away. I don’t know which company manufactures that medication, but I would be thrilled if that company went out of business. Get it?

        You, AC2, work in an industry that lives on addiction, extortion, pain, suffering and deaths of HORSES! Now, I know this will be a challenge for you to understand, but HORSERACING causes addiction – gambling addiction!. Gambling addiction has tortured whole families, cities, even cultures. It has created scars in this country and for what? My guess would be profit yet YOU have the gall to criticize me! You, AC2, contribute to addiction!!

        A human can choose to take a medication or not take a medication. A human can choose to drink alcohol or smoke a cigarette. The majority of us can CHOOSE what we want to put into our bodies. Let’s say that you know someone who is obese (69% of the population is either overweight or obese). They are addicted to food! Obesity contributes to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, so now that person has to take drugs to control his/her disease. However, if the person has an issue with the pharmaceutical companies, as you do, they have the ability to say “no” to the medication. The horses can’t say “yes” or “no”. They are at the mercy of humans who are in the sport of horseracing, the majority of the time, in order to make a money.

        Yes, I know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Of course, I’m going to post on blogs that mirror my values. I am NOT going on an animal abuse site and “troll” that site. I may occasionally post a comment, but not on a regular basis. I respect Patrick but I do NOT agree with everything he believes in. Frankly, I’m unsure why you post here unless it is to “inflame” those who are anti-racing. However, as is so typical for the racing supporters, the lies always come fast and furious. You say my “main goal is to win the favor of Joy Aten”. How would you know that? Have we met or have you met Joy? Have we spoken on the phone? Perhaps I should say that your “main goal’ is to win the favor of Longshot, another anonymous person who posted here. I can’t say that because I have no idea what your “main goal” is except to pick a fight while hiding behind the anonymous wall. However, I can now call you a “liar” (surprise, surprise). I have known Joy Aten for many YEARS. We both despise racing. I don’t need to win the “favor of Joy Aten”. There is no one, and let me repeat that, no one, that I respect more than Joy. So many people talk out of both sides of their mouths. Joy does NOT do so. She speaks the truth. Do we agree on everything? Absolutely not and we have had disagreements but she is ALWAYS there for the horses. I have worked with her on several “rescues” and I can verify she has a huge heart. She doesn’t just talk the talk…she walks the walk and she does it on her own dime. She has picked up hundreds of broken bodies that were destroyed by YOUR industry – a gambling industry.

        Finally, I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and I privately messaged Patrick yesterday after you called Ashado Cat a “no count” filly. At the time, I was leaning toward asking Patrick to put your vile comment back up on this blog but we both felt that you had “crossed the line” with your comment. For you, who seem a bit slow, this blog is called Horseracing Wrongs. You should be aware, at least by now, what this blog is about. If you are unhappy with me, Joy, Patrick another poster, or low level “no count” horses that pay your salary, why don’t you start your own blog? You could do it after the family has gone to bed. I’m sure you would have hundreds, if not thousands, of followers. Why don’t you give it a try?

    • Keep posting Linda, good job!! I have a few comments to add regarding this particular listing of dead horses and some of their awesome human connections (lol)

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